Celia Balderas thumbnail photoCelia Balderas
Senior, majoring in Comparative Ethnic Studies at WSU Pullman, and recipient of the Lou and Ruth Allen Pass It On scholarship, which encourages recipients to practice the Pass It On Principle: you get most for yourself when you learn to share what you receive with others.

Celia is from Pasco, Washington. She graduated from Chiawana High School and Columbia Basin College where she was a Running Start student. She is the second-oldest of seven children and will be the first in her family to attend and graduate from a university.

Activities: President, Kappa Delta Chi Sorority Inc.; Vice President of Scholarship and Administration, United Greek Council (UGC); CUB advisory board member, representing all Greeks; Center for Sorority and Fraternity Life; Chicana/o Latina/o Student Center; NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP), a program within the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

Awards and Honors: February 2017 Student Leader of the Month (a new program of the Leadership Center at WSU).

What do you like best about WSU?

“WSU has become like a second home to me. I have made friendships that will last forever and gained experiences that shaped me into the person I am today. Although it has been challenging at times, I have learned a lot about myself along the way. Because of the specific support programs available at WSU, I have gained opportunities to explore a field I might not have anywhere else.”

How did you decide WSU was the right school for you?

“After a few months at WSU, I knew it was meant to be. I have grown so much. Coming in, I rarely spoke to anyone. Over time, I developed the skills, confidence, and experience to speak out. I gained experience hosting large-scale events. For example, I hosted a pre-graduation ceremony, and most recently, a poetry slam that attracted nearly 300 people. Through my experiences and from the people I’ve met, I know WSU was the perfect choice for me.”

Celia Balderas (’17)
Celia Balderas (’17)

What is the greatest learning experience you have had to date at WSU?

“Learning about myself. Through every new challenge I faced, I learned something new. In the past, I doubted my capability to accomplish goals. Through everything I have done at WSU, I learned, and have seen, I can do anything I set my mind to when I put in the work and commitment. I also learned I tend to put everyone else before myself, and that sometimes, it’s okay to put myself first–because you can’t help others if you’re struggling yourself.”

How did this scholarship help you?

“This year has had the biggest impact on me as a person and my career. Because of this scholarship, I did not stress about getting the remainder of my education paid for. I would like to thank my donors because they helped contribute to my education and life experiences. Without their support, I might not have been able to fully fund this year. Now, I am able to focus on my studies and not financial issues.”

What are your future plans after graduation?

“I plan to attend graduate school at Oregon State University, where I have been accepted into my dream program: a master’s degree in College Student Services Administration with a concentration in Multicultural Student Affairs. I want to work with first-generation college students, so I can help others like me achieve their dreams. I have always had a passion to work with students who need support to achieve their dreams, because they might not get that support at home.”